Memorable Manitobans: George William Northwood (1876-1959)
Architect, war hero.
Born at Ottawa, Ontario on 12 December 1876, son of William Northwood and Margaret Wilson, he was educated the Ottawa College Institute and McGill University (Montreal). In 1900, he commenced a career as an architect with K. Arnoldi of Ottawa.
In 1905, he came to Winnipeg and practiced until early 1907 with William Wallace Blair. He was responsible for designing many fine buildings around the city. He also had a business interest in the Manitoba Linseed Oil Company and National Securities Company.
With the outbreak of the First World War, when he went overseas with the 8th Battalion. Captured by the Germans in April 1915, he was held in a prisoner of war camp with John Kidd Bell. He returned to Winnipeg in 1918 as a Major, having been awarded the Military Cross. He established the architectural firm of Northwood and Chivers in partnership with Cyril William Upton Chivers.
From 1931 to 1933, he was Dominion superintendent of unemployment and farm relief. He was a Chairman of the Sanatorium Board of Manitoba (1943-1948). He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada in 1938. He was President of the Manitoba Association of Architects (1923) and Manitoba Club (1931-1932). Later in his life he was President of the Northern Canadian Mortgage Company.
In 1906, he married Augusta Campion “Gussie” Simson (c1880-1960) of Thorold, Ontario and they had four daughters: Mary Frances Margaret Northwood (1907-1994, wife of Richard Henry Gardyne Bonnycastle), Margaret Constance Northwood (1909-?), Rosamund Campion Northwood (1911-?, wife of Charles Pritchard), and Barbara Northwood (1915-?, wife of George Blackwell).
He died at Winnipeg on 15 December 1959 and was buried in the St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery.
Some of his architectural works in Manitoba included:
Ontario birth registration, Ancestry.
Birth registrations [Mary Frances Margaret Northwood, Margaret Constance Northwood, Rosamund Northwood], Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“Northern Crown’s new bank bldg.,” Winnipeg Tribune, 1 June 1910, page 9.
1911 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, edited by C. W. Parker, Vancouver: Canadian Press Association, 1911.
Marriage [Rosamund Campion Northwood], Winnipeg Tribune, 3 September 1942, page 16.
“Downtown building just mass of rubble,” Winnipeg Tribune, 27 December 1955, page 1.
“George W. Northwood dead at 83,” Winnipeg Free Press, 15 December 1959.
Obituary [Augusta C. Northwood], Winnipeg Tribune, 18 April 1960, page 12.
Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.
George William Northwood, Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada, 1800-1950.
1905 - Northern Bank, Winnipeg, Archiseek.
We thank Nathan Kramer, Christian Cassidy, Jordan Makichuk, Lyle Brennen, and Andrew Kirkpatrick for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 3 June 2023